Columbus Group Alumni

When I returned from Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley to work in Vancouver, I landed at a small but growing web development company called Columbus Group. Only a couple of years later, in 2001, the company was acquired by Telus.

The Columbus Group offices in the Arts and Crafts building, near the old A&B Sound, were maintained by Telus for almost three years after the acquisition. At that point, when the remaining employees moved out, there was virtually no evidence of the company on the web. I’d seen various employee alumni sites, for example the Apple HI Alumni page, and decided to create one for Columbus Group.

I’ve now moved it to this new site, but over the six years it was on my old site it was, from month to month, often my most visited page. I think this is because it has long been one of the best ways to find some of the former Columbus Group employees on the web. I also put a fair amount of thought into the display of information on the page.

The central part of the page is a large table which includes information on role, years at the company, current whereabouts, and contact information, including social media links (where they were quick and easy for me to find) and LinkedIn profiles where available.

The “Years” column shows visually the span of time each employee worked for the company, so you can see whether people’s tenure overlaps. The final element in this column is the Telus logo, which if present indicates that the person was employed at the time of the acquisition. And rows coloured green identify those who still work at Telus. Overall I think it’s a successful information design.

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